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by Ron
Planning That Final Trip

Last month I promised to write about another subject not covered by full-timer writers. Those members of the Family Motor Coaching Association (FMCA) will note that there is a monthly insertion called "Final Trip" listing all FMCA members that have recently died.  It causes us to remember that RVers will probably make their final trip in a hearse and not an RV. RVers, like everyone else, avoid the subject of death. Although everyone needs to openly discuss these personal matters with family, it is imperative that full-timers have a plan.

The full-timing lifestyle presents problems in addition to the grief involved when the inevitable does occur. The normal support system (family and friends) may not be immediately available when a spouse dies. Some full-timers may rationalize and say that by that time I will be off the road, but death does not respect age. Prior discussions with spouse and family will provide some very necessary guidance and confidence in the midst of trauma. There are a lot of decisions to make and it's better to make these decisions in a calm manner long before the event happens. 

In addition to the normal arrangements, full-timers have many additional decisions facing them. Their nomadic lifestyle has changed a lot of things for them. Where will a funeral or memorial service be held? Family may be spread around and the place you left 15 years ago may not have any of your family or friends around. There may be an RV park where a lot of  friends congregate in the winter and a memorial service there in addition to other arrangements might be appropriate. In most cases the services of a local undertaker will be required whether the remains are shipped to another location or there is a cremation. Where will final internment be? It may be depressing to think about this, but now we can even joke about it and we will be doing the surviving spouse a favor by having a plan. Above all we need to consult family and if possible incorporate their wishes. 

So now we have a plan for final arrangements. What about life afterwards for the surviving spouse? We have talked about it and our plans still involve the RV lifestyle, but maybe in a smaller RV. What our your plans? 

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